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Monday, January 26, 2009

Language Exchange

I´m looking for language partners for my first-year pre-service English language teachers in May of 2009. We Skype with Spanish language learners from either 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. (central standard time - GMT -6) one day a week, Monday through Friday.

If anyone is interested, please feel free to sign up here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Storytelling

Digifolios and Personal Learning Spaces
Storytelling task

Well, here´s my “storytelling” attempt. Since I have no voice, I´ve opted to do a blog...

I remember my first computer, an IBM 8088, and actually getting connected to the Internet. The connection was slow and certain pages would not load, but it was a fascinating experience just the same. In college, I remember the early days working with Yahoo and realizing how difficult it was to search for things. My first exposure to Yahoo was actually sitting in the university library, and I remember thinking how limited the library would be in the future versus the potential the Internet had to offer.

Fast-forwarding (many years) to today, I find myself connected to many people thanks to the Internet. I see my own online identity in a constant state of flux as I am constantly trying out new technologies that best serve my own learning and teaching practice. Currently, I, along with Janet, maintain this blog, and participate in Classroom 2.0 and Meta as my three-way link to others. I use the blog to formalize my thoughts and to get them recorded in order to help me reflect on them later. I use Classroom 2.0 because it links me to many educators who teach a variety of subjects. And I like Meta because it gives me the opportunity to learn from teachers who teach primarily in Mexico. Oh, I´m using NetVibes too as my home aggregator - I like Google reader but I prefer the NetVibe interface.

As an educator, some of my favorite technologies are Skype, Moodle, VoiceThread, Seesmic, and Google Docs. There are others that I dabble with, but these are what I´m using most often right now.

My perspective on my own teaching practice and the learning process in general is constantly changing. Basically, it continues to shift to basing my instruction and assessment on my students output through formative means. Following the curriculum, I attempt to find new ways that give the learners the support they need to develop their own means and ways in pursuit of some particular end – instead of me dictating what that end should be.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Digifolios and Personal Learning Spaces

I just wanted to extend an invite on a session I'll be participating in over the next few weeks titled Digifolios and Personal Learning Spaces. I'm hoping to use the topics in this session to get new ideas on how to grow language exchange experiences for language learners.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Learning styles vs. learning competencies

I tend to agree with the idea of learning styles (as a human characteristic) being considered instead as a set of learning competencies (skills).  I don´t necessarily see this as anti-differentiated instruction since the goal is still to provide a multitude of delivery methods (visual, kinsesthic, etc.) to express a particular meaning.  The main difference, as I see it, is that the intended meaning (for what it's worth) ends up driving the delivery choice(s) instead of a preconceived set of learning "styles" that fail to consider the intention of the meaning driving the delivery choice(s).  It makes sense that learning competencies are in a constant state of flux, developmental, and dependent on a particular (or series of) teaching/learning moment(s) as opposed to learning styles being fixed and innate.







Thursday, January 1, 2009

Reflection

As I reflect on what I've learned this past year, I think having "taken" the course CCK08 on connectivism has certainly been a high point. This course has made me think more about PLEs, networking with others, and networking as a learning principle. In an effort to find my own PLE, I've established my Classroom 2.0, this blog, and my CCC, which supports my f2f classes at the university. The CCK08 course has also linked me to META, which is of particular interest to me since I teach in Mexico.

Entering 2009, my goal is to continue modifying and extending my PLE based on the -ism(s) I happen to be interested in at the time (e.g. connectivism, relativism, constructivism (in its various forms) subjectivism, objectivism, etc.). And as I just read about yesterday, I see that my perspective on learning styles - video - (or now learning competencies) will be taking on a new direction as well. Finally, my pursuits to spread leadership will continue within my own practice as I feel that this is key to academic achievement, specifically language learning.

Happy New Year!